CHARACTER COUNTS

Pistons coach Stan Van Gundy adopts special needs dog left behind

May 10, 2017, 7:35 PM | Updated: Jun 11, 2017, 3:45 pm

Detroit Pistons head coach Stan Van Gundy and his family were late for a Michigan “Empty the Shelters” adoption event.

Turns out, after about 2,500 dogs and cats found new homes on April 29, there was just one dog left after the fact. But there was a happy ending: the Van Gundy’s desire to adopt Eastwood, a red-coated labrador, made for the perfect opportunity to promote the BISSELL Pet Foundation that put on the event.

A special needs dog who has genetic defects in one eye and one leg, Eastwood could require pricy surgery. Nonetheless, the Van Gundy’s — specifically their 17-year-old daughter — were more than thrilled to adopt the 1-year-old pup.

“When the family missed the event, their 17-year-old daughter was not shy about voicing her disappointment,” BISSELL communications and event manager Holly Kroeze wrote in a release, per the Detroit Free Press. “Luck was on her side. In the days following, they learned about Eastwood and knew he was their dog.”

When the Van Gundy’s drove to the adoption center, their first meeting with Eastwood, who at that point had become a statewide media sensation as the lone dog left for adoption, was videotaped.

Van Gundy, in a text to the Free Press, gave all the credit to his wife Kim Van Gundy, a community volunteer and leader of the team’s wives and family charitable group.

“Make no mistake that my wife is the impetus behind this,” he wrote. “She is one of the most caring and generous people in the world.”

It seems Van Gundy now has his cruising buddy.

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Pistons coach Stan Van Gundy adopts special needs dog left behind